Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry's Godiva Festival cancels acts over safety fears

Godiva Festival picture taken from the big wheel Image copyright Godiva Festival
Image caption The festival is taking place at War Memorial Park

Coventry's Godiva Festival organisers said they had to close a tent and cancel acts over "safety concerns".

Jay1 and MistaJam were among those who did not perform after the Rhythm Tent was closed on Saturday evening.

Festival director Jon Hogan said there was the "potential for injury" as people tried to enter the full tent causing barriers by the stage to break.

The move led to criticism on Twitter, including by Jay1 who said he had wanted to perform in "my own city".

The artist, who criticised organisers, said fans had come from "Glasgow, London, Liverpool etc" and he was "extremely sorry".

Image copyright Marcus Pendleton
Image caption Feeder headlined the Main Stage on Saturday

Mr Hogan apologised to festival goers but said protecting the public "far outweighed" the need to stage acts.

"The audience volume was far in excess of what we anticipated and it was also about the audience dynamic and the way the audience move and so forth," he said.

"It's obviously sad and such a disappointment for everybody."

Organisers said the tent had reached capacity and despite a security presence and their appeals "a number of people outside tried to enter".

"This in turn caused genuine safety concerns for people already in the tent, particularly those at the front and resulted on barriers at the front of the stage being broken," a statement said.

"People continued to try and push through so reluctantly a decision was taken to cancel all remaining acts to ensure the safety of those inside."

Image copyright Marcus Pendleton
Image caption Reef also drew crowds to the Main Stage

The three-day festival attracts about 120,000 annually.

A £2 administration fee was introduced this year so organisers could manage visitor numbers and reduce the cost of delivering the previously free event.

Busted and The Selecter are among performers on Sunday.

Image copyright Marcus Pendleton
Image caption This year was the event's 21st birthday

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